Gervonta Davis’ Counter Destroying Boxing Style


Gervonta Davis is without a doubt becoming one of the biggest stars in boxing. Thanks to the watchful eye of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Tank Davis has all the potential in the world. 

In this boxing style analysis, I will be looking at Gervonta Davis’s fighting style and what makes him more than just an incredible power puncher. I will also give you a brief background on his achievements and background.  

Watch my video version or read below to find out more:

Who is Gervonta Davis 

Davis is an American boxer from Baltimore, Maryland, who started boxing at a very young age after he went into foster care. He was then taken up by his coach Calvin Ford, who has been his trainer since his amateur days  

As an amateur, Davis was very successful winning lots of national championships along with the prestigious golden gloves championship. In 2012 Davies ended up finishing his amazing amateur career with an incredible record of 206-15. 

At the age of 18, Davis turned professional where he achieved 8 out of 9 knockouts in his first 9 fights. This led to the attention of Mayweather’s promotions them signing him soon after in 2015.

From here Gervonta Davis would go on to win his first world title at super featherweight against Jose Pedraza. After some impressive displays at this weight, the American moved up to lightweight and super lightweight winning the WBA ‘regular’ world titles.

Although Davis is not considered a three-weight world champion by some, he is still proven that he is a massive talent and a danger to anyone between 130 to 140.  With so many talented fighters near his weight division, he has much potential to achieve great things in the sport of boxing.

Davis Achievements 



  • 2x Ringside tournament champion
  • 2x Police Athletic League Tournament
  • Silver Gloves winner
  • 2012 – Golden Gloves 


  • WBA Super Featherweight ‘Super’ Title 
  • IBF Super Featherweight Title
  • WBA Lightweight ‘Super’ Title 
  • WBA Light Welterweight ‘Super’ Title 

Gervonta Davis Boxing Style 

Gervonta Davis is in fact a very good counter puncher and he shows this through being very patient. Against the better opposition, he likes to figure out his opponent before setting up his incredibly sharp power shots. 

Once he has found out what his foe is trying to achieve. You’ll often see the Baltimorean start to walk down his opponents, as he looks to set up his incredible power shots. 

Davis is also a southpaw, which helps make him quite awkward to fight against. He also lowers his guard in a way that makes him quite unpredictable in terms of what angle he will throw the punch from. See the image further below.

I will now go into more detail about the key elements and techniques of Tank’s style and also highlight some of these in action. 

Southpaw Stance

As Davis is a southpaw he will quite often paw out his jab against orthodox fighters. He does this for both offensive and defensive reasons. 

In terms of defense, it helps to create distance between his opponents who have for the most part been bigger in reach and height than Davis. He stands at 5’6 and has a small reach of 67½. 

For his attacks, he likes to set up lead left hooks and left straight shots to the body of his opponent.  Due to his vicious power, the majority of his opponents being bigger than him, they are very cautious of his body shots.

Attacking the body

This leads to my next point and one of the things that Davis likes to do – attacking the body! Tank tends to invest in body punches early in the fight, so he can break them down over the rounds. 

As he has stepped up in opposition this is something that he started to do and is no doubt a tactic his mentor Floyd Mayweather and trainer Ford have encouraged him to do. This then helps Tank to set up his big power punches up top later in the fight. 

Shot variation 

Another tactic Davis employs is that he never attacks the same place twice, with not many double punches. 

Doing this allows many variations in his punch combinations and also set up his big left hand. This is usually through a straight or uppercut using his left hand. 

Check him out changing his shot variation before taking out Pedraza:

Subtle defense and counters

A very underrated area I feel is Tank’s tremendous defense. For the most part, the Davis will tend to be on the back foot taking small half steps backward. This is to encourage his opponent to walk him down and get closer to him, as Davis is generally smaller. 

He has perfected bending from the waist and lowering his head to dodge shots, along with amazing reactions. A move he likes to use is to draw out the jab from his opponent. From here he quickly bends or lowers his head to throw a straight left counter to the body or head. 

Likewise, when an opponent starts to try to close down Davis he will throw left straight down the middle with perfect timing and execution. 

There is also the inspiration from his mentor Floyd Mayweather with Tank using the shoulder roll at times to deflect shots.

Check out examples of Gervonta doing this below:

via Gfycat

Killer finisher

Now the part that we all love about Tank Davis is of course his tremendous finishing ability! There are a few things that he likes to do, but one of his most popular moves is his disguise, Gazelle Hook

This is a brilliant move as there is unpredictability as to where the punch will land. Due to his investment in attacking the body in the early rounds and also his variation of attacks. This causes his opponent to become indecisive and lower their guard. 

A simple bend of the waist and the head by Davis, allows him to wind up the power behind his punch. The lead hand is also in a lower position making it appear that it could just be a jab due to his hand positioning as mentioned earlier. 

Check out my YouTube video of Davis using this move: 

Another reason how Davis generates much of his power is through the way he drives the majority of this through his feet while twisting his hips. This is something that was fundamentally trained in him from a young age. 

Once Tank has his foe hurt or does not respect their power, Davis will go on the hunt, by walking them down with a high guard, slipping and parrying anything that comes back at him. A great example is of course his killer blow of Leo Santa Cruz. See below.


Final Thoughts 

Davis is still an exceptional talent and I very much expect him to develop further over the years into a complete fighter. My one criticism would be his lowered hand position, which could become an issue if he faces a bigger puncher like himself in the future. Nevertheless, it gives him the advantage of unpredictability which makes him so dangerous. 

It will be interesting to see if he can fight the likes of Haney, Lopez, Taylor, or Garcia in the coming years. 

If you are a fighter who is smaller in height and reach but likes to counterpunch. I highly recommend you watch Davis.

He can be sloppy at times, but generally, he is smarter than people give him credit for and hopefully you can see from this article that Tank is not just a puncher. 

Why not check out my Tank Davis Training Breakdown blog or check out all my boxing-style analysis blogs here?

Thanks for reading!

Jamie - Boxing Life

I'm a boxing analyst, amateur boxer, and blogger looking to pass on my boxing experiences and passion to anyone looking to learn or find out more about the sport of boxing. Whether that be gear reviews, fighter analysis, news, training tips, or my own personal journey, I'll be covering it on 'Boxing Life'.

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